ARROW IN THE HEAD REVIEWS

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The Descent 2 (2010)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Jon Harris

Starring:
Shauna Macdonald/Sarah
Natalie Jackson Mendoza/Juno
PLOT-CRUNCH
5.0. drags Sarah (Shauna Macdonald), the sole survivor from the original THE DESCENT, back into the Appalachian cave system. Why? To find her missing friends and decipher what went down. Funny, in the THE DESCENT that I saw, nobody got out of them caves… sigh…
THE LOWDOWN
Before I tackled THE DESCENT 2, I had to go all Jedi and shit, condition myself to accept that the ending of THE DESCENT was ignored in favor of the COP OUT tacked on finale they shat out for the US release. Lots of meditation, shots of JD and lesbian porn got me Zen and I was then hence able to tackle the sequel with an open mind and a zipped up zipper. So did the flick own on its own? Not really.

Pretty much everything that NEIL MARSHALL’S THE DESCENT did so well, THE DESCENT 2 did lazily or in a mundane fashion. Characterization? WHO CARES! The lead character of Sarah aside, the peeps here were annoying, fluffy and obvious as to WHY they were in the film. I hardly cared about anybody here or believe that these were actual people. Stereotypes/plot devices on the other hand? YES! NOTE: That dumb as nuts cop mucho grated me. I wanted to reach into the screen and kill him a lot. What about white knuckle suspense? Any of that jive? Well apart from maybe two efficient bits, I felt nothing. And no, bombarding me with cheap boo scares did NOT count as genuine tension. Moreover, director Jon Harris had little grasp on generating dread within the (over lit) setting or making the creatures in his follow up frightening. Sometimes showing less is more and this Part Deux should have applied that rule to whoop ass.

And what is it me or did the film fail at pulling off the illusion that the cave was filled with creatures? Reeked of 4 actors in makeup that they kept re-using to me. Bugh...What about originality? A novel structure? No dice taco! The narrative was of the connect the dots variety and the only time it managed to take me aback was via dumb ass turns that insulted my minute intelligence (like that ABYSMAL ending…grrrr). Finally the affair was cold, lacking the emotional charge the first film had and the inane decisions by the leads (Hey a ripped up body! Let’s go further in the caves yo instead of running out and calling back-up! Sigh…) to serve the plot resulted in me having to apply more suspension of disbelief that I own…I actually had to borrow some fro my neighbor. It's hard for me to root for characters this thick and to get sucked into a storyline that is so forced and manipulative. So the result was that clocked THE DESCENT 2 in a very “detached” manner, I wasn’t bored to tears, but I wasn’t too enthralled either, the film was just there filling time, wasting life, and once done, I totally forgot that I had just watched a movie.

On the flip side, I got to give credit where credit is due, the pace was swift therefore making the whole fairly harmless to sit through and I dug a couple of the ideas here (like use of the cam to communicate exposition and the creatures bathroom...lol). Shauna Macdonald ‘s well rounded performance as Sarah was the only genuine element in the picture so I appreciated that. Natalie Jackson Mendoza was aces as well! Although I had mixed feelings in terms of seeing her in this sequel when taking account the original, it was swell to witness the sexy lass do her thing again. A pretty and talented gal! And of course as per all sequels, this screeching bitch had more kills and further gore than the original. So at least the red splat a second vibe kept me amused on some level.

With all that pea-souped out; on its own, THE DESCENT 2 was an uninspired and cookie cutter peeps trapped in an enclosed space with murderous critters on their tail entry, no different than say THE CAVE or XTRO 2. As a sequel to THE DESCENT, it was akin to what THE HILLS HAVE EYES 2 (sequel to remake) was to the original... generic and sub-par. Whatever man…whatever…

GORE
What a mess! In a good way! Body ripped in half, fingers bitten off, throat ripped out, squashed head, cut off hand and more! This one went ape shit with the red stuff!
T & A
Them creatures were pretty damn fit, even the female one! Hook me up….
BOTTOM LINE
THE DESCENT 2 came off as exactly what it is: a straight to DVD sequel to THE DESCENT, i.e. a soulless and pedestrian cash in. Bland characters see through storyline, a mishandling of the monsters and MIA suspense. Sure Shauna Macdonald was amazing, Natalie Jackson Mendoza able, the pace undemanding and the graphic violence all up in that arse, but I expected more to a follow up to one of the best horror films of the last decade than just “the usual”. I say, see it if you really have to, have time to murder or aim to get head during your watch – or don’t tap it at all. PS: Whoever came up with them final frames should “fill in the blank”. BARFFFF!
BULL'S EYE
Director Jon Harris was the editor on The Descent (2005).

The screenplay was written by J Blakeson, James McCarthy and James Watkins.

Neil Marshal co-produced the flm.

Look out for Neil Marshall wife’s Axelle Carolyn as Nurse Lambert.

EXPLORE THE DESCENT 2 OFFICIAL SITE HERE

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6:00AM on 06/27/2010

Shame.

As usual, Arrow In The Head are spot-on in an interweb filled with reviews citing this dumb, lazy affair as a worthy sequel to one of horror's finest ever films. That sherriff guy! Seemed determined to say/do something completely wrong-headed at EVERY opportunity. Pulled me right out of the pic (as did many other devices thrown in purely to create more peril). And the end... Whaaa?!?
As usual, Arrow In The Head are spot-on in an interweb filled with reviews citing this dumb, lazy affair as a worthy sequel to one of horror's finest ever films. That sherriff guy! Seemed determined to say/do something completely wrong-headed at EVERY opportunity. Pulled me right out of the pic (as did many other devices thrown in purely to create more peril). And the end... Whaaa?!?
Your Reply:



10:33PM on 05/13/2010

Awful!

Awful!
Awful!
Awful!
How can you make SUCH a bad sequel to such a PERFECT film! The Descent is one of my faves and is a modern classic IMO, so i wanted a sequel...but i knew it was gonna be bad once they brought back Sarah. The Ending to The Descent (ORIGINAL ending) is one of the best endings EVER.

SHAME on this film.
Awful!
Awful!
Awful!
How can you make SUCH a bad sequel to such a PERFECT film! The Descent is one of my faves and is a modern classic IMO, so i wanted a sequel...but i knew it was gonna be bad once they brought back Sarah. The Ending to The Descent (ORIGINAL ending) is one of the best endings EVER.

SHAME on this film.
Your Reply:



5:43PM on 04/27/2010

The ending! WHY?!

Well it wasn't NEARLY as bad as I expected it to be. The first half was eh, not that great. We got to watch characters who we didn't care about die. Then the second half really brought it home for me. The finale was just awesome in my opinion, everything i'd hoped it to be. I would've left happy and given this a 3 star rating if it weren't for (LITERALLY) the LAST 30 seconds of the film. They pulled a move that just completely destroyed it for me, seriously. So it wasn't TERRIBLE, and of course
Well it wasn't NEARLY as bad as I expected it to be. The first half was eh, not that great. We got to watch characters who we didn't care about die. Then the second half really brought it home for me. The finale was just awesome in my opinion, everything i'd hoped it to be. I would've left happy and given this a 3 star rating if it weren't for (LITERALLY) the LAST 30 seconds of the film. They pulled a move that just completely destroyed it for me, seriously. So it wasn't TERRIBLE, and of course wasn't the masterpiece that the first one was. But it was an entertaining straight to dvd sequel. I think the main problem is that Marshall wasn't directing. It was missing something and you could tell.
Your Reply:



5:29PM on 04/27/2010

The ending! WHY?!

Well it wasn't NEARLY as bad as I expected it to be. The first half was eh, not that great. We got to watch characters who we didn't care about die. Then the second half really brought it home for me. The finale was just awesome in my opinion, everything i'd hoped it to be. I would've left happy and given this a 3 star rating if it weren't for (LITERALLY) the LAST 30 seconds of the film. They pulled a move that just completely destroyed it for me, seriously. So it wasn't TERRIBLE, and of course
Well it wasn't NEARLY as bad as I expected it to be. The first half was eh, not that great. We got to watch characters who we didn't care about die. Then the second half really brought it home for me. The finale was just awesome in my opinion, everything i'd hoped it to be. I would've left happy and given this a 3 star rating if it weren't for (LITERALLY) the LAST 30 seconds of the film. They pulled a move that just completely destroyed it for me, seriously. So it wasn't TERRIBLE, and of course wasn't the masterpiece that the first one was. But it was an entertaining straight to dvd sequel. I think the main problem is that Marshall wasn't directing. It was missing something and you could tell.
Your Reply:



1:28PM on 04/11/2010
the biggest waste of my time, i enjoyed part 1...but this was pure garbage
the biggest waste of my time, i enjoyed part 1...but this was pure garbage
Your Reply:



10:48PM on 03/28/2010
I'm seriously disappointed to hear this, since The Descent is one of my favorite horror movies. This could have been even better. I won't see it in the theatres, but I'll probably see it eventually.
I'm seriously disappointed to hear this, since The Descent is one of my favorite horror movies. This could have been even better. I won't see it in the theatres, but I'll probably see it eventually.
Your Reply:



7:03PM on 03/16/2010

Exactly

I thought it was really entertaining. But the last line of your review sums it all up. In terms of feel etc... it was exactly like The Hills Have Eyes -sequel. I got precisely the same feeling with this film as I got with that film.
But hey, I was entertained. And I'm not too critical.
I thought it was really entertaining. But the last line of your review sums it all up. In terms of feel etc... it was exactly like The Hills Have Eyes -sequel. I got precisely the same feeling with this film as I got with that film.
But hey, I was entertained. And I'm not too critical.
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+0
5:51PM on 03/16/2010
Piece of shit. For the trivia section though; Writer J. Blakeson has written and directed a much better, genre film called The Disappearance of Alice Creed. I saw it at the London Film Festival, and was pretty impressed. Look out for it.
Piece of shit. For the trivia section though; Writer J. Blakeson has written and directed a much better, genre film called The Disappearance of Alice Creed. I saw it at the London Film Festival, and was pretty impressed. Look out for it.
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+0
4:59PM on 03/16/2010

UNNECCESARY

it had absolutely nothing to add to part 1. Useless sequel. Especially with how things end up in part 2, youre better of not watching this, because it will only ruin your view of part 1.
it had absolutely nothing to add to part 1. Useless sequel. Especially with how things end up in part 2, youre better of not watching this, because it will only ruin your view of part 1.
Your Reply:



11:22AM on 03/16/2010

Agree

While I was entertained, I wasn't impressed much at all. The ending was just a huge "fek aaf!" in my books... and was literally winked to early on. Poor overall, but it wasn't a waste of 90min.
While I was entertained, I wasn't impressed much at all. The ending was just a huge "fek aaf!" in my books... and was literally winked to early on. Poor overall, but it wasn't a waste of 90min.
Your Reply:



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